On Friday, MSNBC's Ronan Farrow spoke with activist and community leader Mel Wymore, who is transgender, about the attempt of a conservative group to repeal Maryland's trans-inclusive non-discrimination act. Media Matters wrote about the segment and Farrow's discussion of the "myth" that trans-inclusive bathrooms pose a threat to society.
The fact that a major cable news outlet took the time to cover the fight over a state's transgender protections is remarkable. Aside from the transphobic panic attacks that occasionally flare up on Fox News, stories about the transgender community's fight for equal treatment don't typically get much national media coverage.
What's more remarkable, though, is Farrow's decision to use the terms "myth" and "scare tactics" when describing right-wing fears that Maryland's non-discrimination law will be exploited by sexual predators who want to sneak into women's restrooms.
He's right: the claim that non-discrimination laws will be exploited by sexual predators is demonstrably false. In state after state with non-discrimination laws already on the books, experts have found no evidence whatsoever that protections for transgender people lead to increased incidences of sexual assault in bathrooms. In reality, transgender people are disproportionately victims of violence and harassment in public restrooms.